I used to believe in monsters. Until my brother became one. Three years ago, I got a call that my brother had been arrested for molesting his step-daughter. Certain there had been a mistake, I was obviously dumbfounded. Until he confessed. Through slurred words, drunken ramblings and tears that, yes, he had, and on more than one occasion. The arrest was just the very first drop in a roller coaster of emotion.
This event has single handedly shaken my world like nothing before it. It has transformed my family in a way I could have never imagined. Each of us in separate and different ways.
I'm happy to say I think it's made me a better person. I know this may be hard for some people to reconcile but what I want people to know is there are no such things as monsters. I no longer believe in "bad" people. My message to my daughters (and yes, I have all girls and one is the same age as the victim) is there is no such thing as "bad guys." There are good people who make bad choices.
Before you start to type your heated disagreement let me stress that I in no way condone or excuse my brother's behavior nor any other kind of deviant, illegal behavior. My brother was the perpetrator in this instance not the victim. But I refuse to crucify him either. And that's what I have really learned. Who am I to proclaim an individual, made in Christ's image, a monster? How can I possibly know the many facets of one person? Can anyone of us be defined so narrowly? Would you want to be? It makes us feel safer to categorize and label others because we can distance ourselves, disassociate with our fellow human beings and relieve ourselves of the all-consuming question, "How could this happen?"